Buttonski

I just watched the cat jump clean over the top of the dog. The cow jumped over the moon. It was amazing and no one saw it but me, just like that time I was driving home from college and saw the Northern Lights.

Milhous does think Edsel hung the moon. I saw Mil standing on his back legs earlier this morning, rubbing his face on Edsel repeatedly. I see this often in the morning when they go out together for their constitutional, but every time I grab the camera to take a photo out the window, Mil immediately catches on and I can never capture it for you.

I like how our phones have become “the camera.”

Anyway, hi. Man, am I hung over from that Super Bowl. Oh, sorry, from “The Big Game.” Did you ever notice that companies have to call it that? Also, I am not remotely hung over, and I do not care about “The Big Game.” Who won?

Who was in it?

I got a lot of stuff done this weekend. I’ve been complaining since last winter that every winter coat I have has something wrong with it. You stick your hand in one pocket and it’s not even a pocket anymore; the lining is ripped straight through. You try to button another and the middle button is gone. Always the middle button so you can’t fake it.

So I gathered a bunch of them up (I still have a ski jacket that has no flaws, so don’t worry that I’m freezing to death. Also the high today is 71, so…)

(The South. Confederate flags, but also sometimes 71 in February.®)

SO I GATHERED A BUNCH OF THEM UP, and took them to the crabby alterations guy at the outdoor mall near my old house. I’d been there with Ned in the past, when he was having work things altered. That was the only way I knew alterations guys even existed.

“You have button with this?” the crabby guy asked me. Of course I don’t have the button. I don’t even know when it fell off. If I knew that, I’d have swept it up and sewed it back on myself.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

See. I just figured alterations places had every button you’d ever need. But it turns out when you have vintage coats, KIT—and I like how I blame Kit for owning a vintage store and forcing me to go in it and buy coats—the buttons are all rare and special and the point of my story is I hadda go to the Joann Fabric, get buttons, and come back.

I have only ever been there one other time, and that was to get fabric I deeply regret for recovering my kitchen chairs. I bought a light fabric that the cats have already made claw marks in, and who ordered all these cats? I blame Kit.

Their damn gray fur shows up on the light fabric Joann sold me, and the whole situation is a fiasco and soon I’ll have to re-recover them using Rhianna’s face. Rhi-Rhi. Did you get that? Is there anything more annoying than those gossip sites using nicknames for celebrities like they actually know them? Calling Madonna Madge particularly grates, but Rhi-Rhi is the all-time worst. I wouldn’t read those sites but Kit forces me.

So I drove to Joann Fabric, my old stomping grounds, and it turns out there are all sorts of annoying women there who get right in your way as they stampede for the glue gun section. I can’t think of a place I fit in less than Joann Fabric, unless you place me in a silent meditation retreat.

Or at the Super Bowl.

A Monster Truck rally.

A meeting of the empaths.

Okay, a lot of places I wouldn’t fit in. Shut up. Still. What makes anyone buy fake flowers and glue guns? Fake flowers and glue guns say, “I’m about to create a monstrosity.”

“When you arrive at my door, a fake-flower wreath the size of your dilated cervix will greet you jauntily.”

Despite all my mocking of Joann and her fabrics–and is there any “I make fake flower wreaths” name more than Joann? Anyway, despite my snobbery, I got riveted by the button section, which I was hoping had at least a FEW clitorises, but no.

Oh my god, there were shiny buttons and patterned buttons and shapely buttons. There were purple ones and silver ones and butt-butt-buttons galore.

About 50 women got in my way while I was looking. This might be because I spent 20 minutes being riveted by buttons. And they were being button-skis.

Finally, I got the right size—the crabby alterer told me to be sure to get buttons as big as my old ones. I took one with me that I made him rip off my coat so I could compare.

Then I had to stand in an interminable line while each fake-flower-buyer had a coupon or a complaint or couldn’t figure out the slide-your-card-into-the-thing checkout sitch.

Average age of Joann Fabric customer: 672. “Why, back in my day, I traded wheat for buttons.”

As I got in my car to return to the cranky alterations store, I decided I was going to try to drive back there on my own, without asking my camera. See, what I did was, I tried to retrace my steps there.

I know those of you with an actual sense of direction do this without thinking about it. My friend MaryBeth used to be able to tell me which direction we were facing any place we were in LA. I’d ask her as a little test. “Northwest,” she’d say, like she just knew in her soul.

Eventually she hipped me to the fact that the water was west. And hills were…

East?

Now I can’t remember. But it came in handy at the time. The water was west! Of course it was! It made sense once she said it.

Anyway, the point is I did it. I DID IT! I got from a part of town I rarely go to all the way back to the mall near my old house. Oh my god!

I was so proud of self I called my mother on my camera. Told her the whole story, leaving out the button/clitoris joke because I just made it up today.

She paused. “Hasn’t that mall been there the whole time you’ve lived in Greensboro?” she asked.

!!!!!

“See. This is why I have low self-esteem and make poor choices,” I said to her, stopping off for a fried-chicken sandwich before I got back to the crabby alterations store.

Geez. Way to be supportive, MOM. I feel like Margaret Thatcher’s mom would have been all, Good job, honey! This is why I’m not prime minister of the United States. Also because political things are boring. But mostly because my mother does not support my crowning achievements. I should make her a huge fake-flower wreath using giant chrysanthemums and clitorises that she’d have to hang when I came over.

Well. I meant to talk about something else entirely today but I see I got off on a tangent and now I have to go to work.

Button up your overcoat.
June

47 Comments

  1. Heeeeeee! I feel the same way about Joann’s customers. But I do love walking around in there when I need something bc I will become riveted as you did with my button-equivalent. We have a dry cleaner/alterations place mere steps from us. They like my husband but hate me. They screw up everything I send in, so I tend to let my dry cleaning pile up until my husband asks if this bag of stuff is trash, good will, what? Just got a shirt back from them which needed mending. They mended it as though the outside were the inside!! Like they couldn’t tell which way the entire rest of the seam near this rip along the seam was supposed to go. Anyway, I think they are crabby about my stuff when I finally bring it in but always happy about my husband’s stuff.

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  2. Absolutely hilarious today. Thank you!
    I used to trade wheat for buttons.
    By the way, etsy sells tons of actual antique buttons that are incredible.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Buttons are friggin’ expensive to buy new. Even at garage sales, people are asking a lot of money for them.
    You: Who won?

    Who was in it?

    Who cares?

    Signed, Canadian who couldn’t give a shit about hockey, either, and you’d think none of us exist, the way the media go on about the damn thing!

    -Kate

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  4. I do sew and therefore inherited both of my grandmas’ craft supploes, sewing baskets, and tins of buttons. I bought super cute bear buttons ehen I made my daughter Curly a Goldilocks apron for Halloween. It was JUST RIGHT. Even though I feel at home on a joanns while making a project- oh the old ladies in there. They MUST tell the cutting fabric peeps what every fabric is needed for. WHO CARE?! I WANT TO GET OUTTA HERE SOMETIME TODAY! I enjoyed getting things done during the superbowl because WHO CARE. The halftime show was on during dinner. Dear J Lo- no interest in seeing your thonged butt shake on camera. Gross.

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  5. I have a button tin that has every extra button that has come with any piece of clothing or outerwear I’ve purchased. Plus a few random ones that seem to end up in the bottom of the washing machine. What I can’t figure out is why, when I actually need a button, there is never a suitable one in my tin. It’s really one of life’s great mysteries.

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  6. I am not crafty and do not sew at all. I do have a ceramic covered dish for buttons on my dresser. My grandmother had a button tin too. I remember being in a Menonite department store near Lancaster, Pennsylvania. They had lots of beautiful buttons that I was fascinated by. They had fabric too. It was not as obnoxious as a craft store.
    I own a glue gun that I only used once or twice. I burned my self and I had no patience for it. I hated art projects in grade school too. I like to decorate but that involves shopping, not crafting, for me.
    A baby shower is a place I don’t belong. Now that I am far too old they don’t bug like in my younger infertile days but it is still a mystery to me and nothing I’ve used or will use. There are fun appliances, etc. to peruse at least at bridal showers, lingerie, dirty jokes. Bridal showers are way more fun for me.

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  7. I’m picturing June giggling maniacally every time she typed ‘clitoris’ thinking about her mom reading it! June, I don’t want to be the bearer of bad news but I saw something pretty awful about DevaCurl today and the beginnings of a Class Action for people who have lost hair and other unwanted side effects. Here’s the Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/486634018576633/ Hope you haven’t had any negative outcomes and that Iris is perking up.

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  8. Hey – I had a PT Cruiser for years and I adored it! I could put my animals in there and all kinds of other stuff! I never once set foot in a Joann’s Fabric Store! LOL
    I hate fake flowers and glue guns. Good grief. Not fair to say all PT Cruisers go there… but ok… no hard feelings here….
    I DO have a button box though and I can guarantee you that if I tried to find a button to match something, it would not be there – even though I am sure I have in excess of 10,000 buttons.
    Frustrating, right?

    Love your posts always June!

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  9. Hey – I had a PT Cruiser for years and I adored it! I could put my animals in there and all kinds of other stuff! I never once set foot in a Joann’s Fabric Store! LOL
    I hate fake flowers and glue guns. Good grief. Not fair to say all PT Cruisers go there… but ok… no hard feelings here….
    I DO have a button box though and I can guarantee you that if I tried to find a button to match something, it would not be there – even though I am sure I have in excess of 10,000 buttons.
    Frustrating, right?
    Love your posts always June!

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  10. When I was a kid in Michigan I learned directions in the US by thinking the ocean is east and the mountains are west. I had no idea I had internalized this until I moved to Seattle. My whole sense of direction was 180 degrees off. Messed me up, I must say.

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  11. Dear June,
    The Kansas City Chiefs won the Super Bowl. Much rejoicing is happening here in Missouri. Including lots of fireworks last night. I swear every other person had a stash of fireworks in their houses. Kaboom! KABOOM!! (My dog was traumatized. She hates fireworks.)

    I guess it should be thankful is wasn’t gunfire in our neighborhood.

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  12. Please tell me the parking lot at Joann’s was filled with PT Cruisers because those seem to be the Car of Choice for the fake flowers and glue guns set. Along with wearing those decorated sweatshirts with the sewn-in Peter Pan collars.

    Years ago, I attended a scrapbook convention (don’t judge) and the parking lot was filled with PT Cruisers and nearly every attendee was wearing those sweatshirts and had the old-lady poodle perm. I think it’s required by the crafter set.

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    1. Oh fellow scrapbooker here! Not a fake flower clitoris glue gun wreath maker, but love scrapbooking – no judgment.

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  13. I have a cookie tin full of buttons. I also have an antique Mason jar that is turquoise that is turned into a lamp and full of buttons I can never get to until the lamp jar breaks. Guess which buttons I really want to go through?

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  14. I have several mason jars of old and not so old buttons, mostly from my mom and mil. Don’t have a clue what to do with them. Yes, Joann is over there in a whole nother area code.

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  15. I’m sure I have my mother’s buttons downstairs somewhere. (That sounds like my mother had dementia.) And this will surprise exactly no one: I have all of the spare buttons that come with clothing. Now don’t get crazy, they are not alphabetized or sorted by size or color (I should get on that), but if I lose a button and had received a spare when I bought the item, then I have the replacement button. I KNOW. It’s a sickness. What can I tell you?

    Note to Deb: I do NOT have travel buttons

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    1. I feel like my whole life would drive you crazy, but of course you’ve been reading about my whole life for a dozen years and you haven’t run screaming yet.

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    2. I have a jar of buttons and also, too, every extra button that comes with clothes. I adore my button jar up there on the shelf in my laundry room. When I was a kid (must have been back in the 1800s when there was nothing to do) I used to love to go through my mama’s and grandmother’s button jars and examine all of the fun buttons.

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  16. I will never look at a Joann’s store the same way again. All my experiences there have been exactly as you described, down to the coupons in the check out line. JUST LET ME GET OUT OF THIS PLACE WITHOUT COMMITTING A HOMICIDE! And getting fabric cut? Somehow they manage to hire women who move at the speed of Mr. Tudball.

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  17. See here I thought you were going to say you got lost because you still thought the water was west. Which, I guess, technically it is also, but east water is closer.

    I have a box of buttons I love. I don’t know what to do with them, but I love them just the same.

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  18. Irony or proof the robots are taking over the world – my daily email delivery of a certain craft store’s coupon arrived while I was reading…
    Lovely button post, pretty June.

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  19. So much in this post!!! First, what game? I have a box of vintage buttons from my grandmother, many of them are still on the cards with the price, 10 cents. She kept all buttons on any garment that was too worn to wear, this is from living through the depression. Then the practice was carried on by my mom, because she remembered the depression. I get my frugal ways honest. Checking out at Joann’s makes me want to scream, all those women and their coupons, that have expired. A great blog subject would be places where we would be totally out of place.
    Tee

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      1. Then you might have enjoyed the half time show of The Big Game yesterday. Pole dancing and everything.

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        1. As I said sarcastically to Mr. Sadie, the half-time show was such a good example for young girls. NOT!

          On a related note, my favorite ad was Bill Murray’s Groundhog’s Day parody.

          Liked by 1 person

      2. Tee and I would both be so out of place at a strip club although, after watching the half- time show, I could envision the two performers as the strip club barkers. “Come on in. Here’s a sample of what you’ll see.”

        Maybe or maybe not. Like I said, Tee and I would be out of place there.

        Liked by 1 person

  20. Mills and Edsel are so adorable together! I, too, once became enthralled with the button selection at a Joann Fabric Store. And I wasn’t even shopping for them. Not being a sewing-type of person, I tried to come up with reasons that folks might need so many buttons. Fell way short on that. But they sure are purty.

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  21. We also had the tin of buttons when I was a growing up. Since we all sewed, we would dump the tin out on the floor and sort through them on a button treasure hunt to find enough of the same buttons to use on our latest creation. I also wonder what happened to our treasured tin.

    Congratulations for not only surviving the button-skis, but for finding your way back again to the alterations guy.

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  22. I love buttons. I have old cookie tins full of vintage buttons just sitting around waiting to be called in to action. I used to hyperventilate when I visited JoAnn Fabric and Craft – so many options, so much fabric. My friends joke that when I die my casket will be huge, loaded down with all of my fabric and sewing paraphernalia.

    Laurie in NB, Canada

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  23. I will admit I thought you were going to say you gathered up the coats and got out your sewing kit and fixed them all up. I swear I don’t know what made me think that, I am not new here. Anyway good job! That is a lot of stuff to follow through with on a weekend day when I know you really just wanted to get going on your party prep for the big game.

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  24. You should keep the vintage buttons from the coat so that you can use them later on something else.

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  25. My grandmother had a cookie tin full of buttons. All kinds of buttons. When she turned a shirt into a rag (she survived the depression) she cut the buttons off and into the button tin. When I was little I would play in her button tin. I wonder what happened to her button treasure?

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  26. I’m the same with with directions. I have no sense of direction at all.

    I didn’t watch the super bowl and had no idea who was playing. I heard that the halftime show was good.

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  27. The one time I made a fake flower wreath and put it on my door, a pair of robins made a nest on it and laid eggs.
    Then someone slammed the door and knocked an egg out of the nest. The parents left and never came back.
    No more wreaths for me. Well, maybe.

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